Tuesday, November 23, 2021


            To me, there is nothing more enjoyable in life than consenting. The vast, miraculous river of Life is constantly carrying me along in its majestic route, and I have the great pleasure, each moment, of acceding to its wishes, whatever they might be. This morning, I awoke from a night of tossing and turning, and it would be easy to be angry about that – to tell the river of Life that it should have flowed more smoothly – but it’s much more gratifying to actually be grateful that I am part of an infinite river that knows precisely where it should go, and can carry me along in a smooth, powerful, and always charming way – if I’m wise enough to yield to the charm. Indeed, an up-and-down night could actually be a pleasant and refreshing way to rest, if I could open my heart and simply go along with its special kind of flow. It might bring me unusual rewards I’d never noticed before, the way a kayaker can spend hours flowing around rocky, tumultuous bends and come suddenly upon a vast sunrise scene of utter peacefulness.  I guess I need to give happy permission to my occasional nights of wobbly sleep, for there are surely gifts hidden inside those trembly, unbalanced, river-like hours.  


This might be a day 
to let life live through you, 
thanking it and caring for it 
as it flows in its fulfilling way 
from distant stars 
through you 
to other distant stars.
Each moment today, 
you could, with pleasure, 
 permit the power of life 
to unfold through you, 
simply by saying a silent Yes.
You could quietly consent to
whatever life wants to do, 
since life knows no limits 
and will do it anyway, 
so why not cheerfully wonder 
what will happen 
and then happily let it?

And here are a few scenes from our walk this morning in the Coogan nature preserve …


July 8, 2021


            On our kayak float yesterday on the Wood River, I occasionally watched the small whirlpools started by Delycia’s paddles just ahead of me, and it got me thinking about the mysterious whirlpool I call ‘my life’. This life I’m living is not the solid, separate ‘event’ it so often seems to be.  As I watched a whirlpool swirling around beside my kayak, it seemed like the perfect symbol of the endlessly revolving movement of what I call ‘my life’. What is labeled ‘Hamilton Salsich’ is actually a continuously transforming swirl in the shoreless river of life. I seem to be a separate and self-governing individual, but in truth, I am a fluidly spinning twirl in a universe that knows precisely what it’s doing and where it’s going.  I need to simply slacken and loosen and learn to appreciate the marvelous  circles and spins life does with me as I swivel around in a river that’s infinitely more amazing than the scenic Wood River.


Whenever you see a dish 
with crackers and cheese,
listen for a robin's voice. 
Whenever you hear an airplane
looking for its home, 
listen for the songs 
your heart sings. 
Whenever you hear the highway
saying its prayers in the distance,
look up 
and see your life arriving 
like a new friend. 


And here are some scenes from yesterday’s kayak float …


            Sometimes, sitting in an airplane window seat at night above a brightly lit city, I’ve thought of what almost seems like another shining city, the city of my own life. Now and then, when I’m able to see my life from a distance, it seems to be lit-up with lights of all kinds. Close up, my life often seems under-lit, cluttered, and somewhat chaotic, but, when I stand way back, it looks like there’s serenity and a sort of luster in my hours and days. All the people, for instance, who come and go through my life are shining with their own hopes and worries – the shimmering lights of optimism as well as the pale lights of unease and sorrow. From a distance, the events in my life also seem to be sparkling in countless hues as they pass through my days and disappear. Some good, some bad, some just tedious – all the large and small episodes in my days, when I observe them from far off, seem to shine in their various ways. Somehow they all seem more effulgent than harmful, full of more brightness than distress. I sometimes pretend I’m on a mountaintop looking down at the valleys and hills of my life, and I realize, again, that this life of mine, this grand gift I was given 78 years ago, is indeed, a shining city for me, a spectacle of lights like I might see from a night sky over New York.  

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Mystic and Mystic Seaport, from a distance across the Mystic River …

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We took our morning walk today in Elm Grove Cemetery in Mystic, about 2.4 miles. It was inspiring, as usual, to be among the imposing, almost ceremonious trees, and to occasionally get a view from a distance, with the sun rising among clouds and brightening the stately gravestones.

Elm Grove Cemetery this morning

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A poem by William Wordsworth …